Skip to main content
PBS logo

Book Reviews of Embers

ISBN-13: 9780375707421
ISBN-10: 0375707425
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 224
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 65 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

13 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Embers on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
a thought-provoking meditative novel, as two old friends talk together about the woman they both loved; raises questions about old age, about how to live, about the nature of love and friendship
SanJoseCa avatar reviewed Embers on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
An old castle in the Carpathian moutains of Hungary, is the setting of this beautifully written psychological thriller. It is a story about the effects of time on relationships, regrets and betrayals. An excellent choice for book clubs!
reviewed Embers on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
What a wonderful surprise. I'm not sure why I picked this book, having no knowledge of it or it's brilliant author. The story is beautifully simple, the words sometimes so perfect I was taken aback. In the end I felt like I was blessed by a wise old sage. A classic in the true sense of the word. This is why we read!
justreadingabook avatar reviewed Embers on + 1714 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A beautifully written book. It tells a story about friendships,trust,love,family,betrayl and lack of forgiveness. You will love the flow of the book and the descriptions of what is happening. It pulls you in and you can't seem to stop reading due to the wonder of how it will work and you enjoy the beautiful writing style. A must read if not for the story but just for the beauty of the style of writing.
BlueShoes7 avatar reviewed Embers on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Marai's novel, Embers, not only tells an eloquent love story about love between friends and love between a man and a woman, but also brings up questions about life. Those moments of betrayal and loss of trust, but how friendship binds you nonetheless. While slow at times, it does not detract from the beauty of the story and the elegant way in which it is told.
reviewed Embers on
This is one amazing masterpiece. It is highly philosophical and educating writing that is laid in easy to understand flow. I would recommend this book for adults 24 and older. Must read.
reviewed Embers on + 4 more book reviews
A beautifully told tale!!
reviewed Embers on + 34 more book reviews
In Sándor Márai's Embers, two old men, once the best of friends, meet after a 41-year break in their relationship. They dine together, taking the same places at the table that they had assumed on the last meal they shared, then sit beside each other in front of a dying fire, one of them nearly silent, the other one, his host, slowly and deliberately tracing the course of their dead friendship. This sensitive, long-considered elaboration of one man's lifelong grievance is as gripping as any adventure story and explains why Márai's forgotten 1942 masterpiece is being compared with the work of Thomas Mann. In some ways, Márai's work is more modern than Mann's. His brevity, simplicity, and succinct, unadorned lyricism may call to mind Latin American novelists like Gabriel García Márquez, or even Italo Calvino. It is the tone of magical realism, although Márai's work is only magical in the sense that he completely engages his reader, spinning a web of words as his wounded central character describes his betrayal and abandonment at the hands of his closest friend. Even the setting, an old castle, evokes dark fairy tales.
reviewed Embers on + 11 more book reviews
this is a monologue by a bitter old man. it is a slow moving book. but you won't put it down.

the hidden agenda of the main character lingers out there. tension is high and you have to know.

best friends part under mysterious circumstance - yes, there is the possibility of an unfaithful spouse. now, 41 years later, the old friends are reunited. sadly, there is no resolution. the air, however, is cleared and the reader moves on to the next book.
reviewed Embers on + 35 more book reviews
I would call this a novelette - very fast read. It is a character study that I really enjoyed. I thought that the author's prose was very good.
sabayrac avatar reviewed Embers on + 34 more book reviews
Two boys were roommates from the military academy at age ten and for 20 years became as brothers, inseparable - yet, there is a marked difference in monetary and prestige which resulted in the most affluent fostering the hospitality. As they aged, it became noticed there were differences or small "cracks in the armor".
One marries and yet, still, there was a bond between the goes to the military to serve then suddenly the other young man hastily leaves for the Tropics. Leaving behind questions........and life changed thereafter!

A great portion of the book is a soliloquy regarding the true definition of friendship, brotherhood and relationships, while at the same time leading this narrative toward reaching truth to questions harbored 40 years and 43 days during the absence of the other's worthy of the read just in the fact you can certainly measure those relationships and friendships you have or have ever had - it's weighty and gives pause for thought!
reviewed Embers on + 23 more book reviews
A NY Times notable book.
reviewed Embers on + 10 more book reviews
Honestly, this book didn't impress me much to the point that I can't give a review because I do not remember it. Sorry.